Sports Bettors Beat Books In February At Detroit’s Retail Casinos

Written By Drew Ellis on March 10, 2022 - Last Updated on March 11, 2022
Bettor with a winning ticket

February was a hot month for sports bettors at Detroit’s three retail casinos.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board released the monthly revenue numbers for all three on Thursday, and MGM Grand Detroit Casino, MotorCity Casino Hotel and Greektown Casino Hotel all reported losses at their retail sportsbooks last month.

The cumulative loss for the three combined was more than $850,000.

Breaking down the losses for Detroit retail sportsbooks

The qualified adjusted gross receipts (QAGR) were reported at -$869,939 for February in Detroit. It’s down nearly $3 million from the $1.97 million reported in January of 2022.

A total of $25.4 million in handle was placed at the three casinos last month. Here’s how the losses broke down:

Due to the negative results from all three casinos, neither the State of Michigan nor the city of Detroit collected taxes from retail sports betting last month.

Through two months, here’s the running QAGR for the three retail sportsbooks in Detroit:

  • Greektown, $632,672
  • MGM, $306,703,
  • MotorCity, $121,146

Super Bowl blues for the books?

The February numbers for 2022 mark the second consecutive year Detroit’s retail sportsbooks suffered a collective loss during Super Bowl month.

Last year, the books took a collective loss of $77,626. Only Greektown came out ahead at $114,814 in revenue. MotorCity lost $183,680, while MGM Grand Detroit lost a small $8,761.

Perhaps it’s not coincidence that retail books suffered during Super Bowl month with a clear Michigan connection in the game.

Former Detroit Lion Matthew Stafford led the Los Angeles Rams to the title last month by edging the Cincinnati Bengals.

A year ago, it was Michigan alum Tom Brady leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past the Kansas City Chiefs for his seventh Super Bowl championship.

“The Super Bowl result was the worst possible outcome for our book,” said Paul Stencel, sportsbook manager at Greektown. “We were heavy on Rams futures and had some large action on the Bengals plus the points. We also took sizable action on NHL totals which landed on the bettors’ side.”

Overall casino numbers

Despite the sportsbook losses, it was still a respectable month for the Detroit casinos as a whole.

Combined, $94.7 million in monthly aggregate revenue was reported for February.

Table games and slots amassed $95.6 million in revenue to make up for the sports betting losses.

Comparing to last year, table games and slots had a 10.6% increase in revenue compared to February of 2021.

The slots and table games revenue for the first two months of 2022 is up 12.3% compared to the same span in 2021.

A breakdown of the revenue for February 2022 between the three casinos is:

  • MGM 49% ($46.3 million)
  • MotorCity 30% ($28.9 million)
  • Greektown 21% ($20.4 million)

Compared to February of last year, only MGM is up in revenue, by 34.4%. MotorCity (7.3%) and Greektown (2.1%) saw revenue decline.

Looking at the taxes, Detroit casinos paid $7.7 million in gaming taxes to the State of Michigan during February compared with $7 million for the same period last year.

The three casinos also reported submitting $11.4 million in wagering taxes and development agreement payments to the City of Detroit during February.

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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis has lived in Michigan his whole life, and has been writing professionally for the last 21 years. Ellis has covered anything from youth baseball in mid-Michigan, a top-25 college football program, and pro sports in the Detroit area. Always keeping busy, Ellis also has over 10 years of experience in covering sports betting, handling all major sports.

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